Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio sees education as answer to antisemitic protests, propaganda

Walls filled with disturbing reminders of history at its worst

SAN ANTONIO – From one side of a large room to the other, the walls of the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio are filled with disturbing photographs and artifacts documenting history at its worst.

“Thankfully, we have a museum like this in San Antonio,” said Nammi Ichilov, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio. Especially so at times like this when there is a rash of antisemitic acts, Ichilov said.

RELATED: San Antonio officials denounce recent antisemitic material and protests

Around early November in 1938, “Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, the Nazis really took to the streets,” Ichilov said. “It was a turning point where they felt empowered because people didn’t stand up.”

Ichilov said antisemitic groups and individuals who support hate “try and see where does the general public stand on antisemitic acts.”

Because San Antonio has adamantly rejected hate, Ichilov said he believes the groups responsible for recent antisemitic protests were from out of state.

“The Jewish community has been embraced, loved, welcomed in San Antonio for over 100 years,” Ichilov said.

The museum, located at 12500 NW Military, is open to the public and offers a variety of educational programs for teachers and students.

“I’m a 30-year educator, and I believe that education can really be the silver bullet that will move us forward,” Ichilov said.

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Bill Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.